Joyce Morrell's Harvest - The Annals of Selwick Hall - A Story of the Reign of Elizabeth
This book is one of a series involving the same late sixteenth century family. Its predecessor is "Lettice Eden", and its successor is "It might have been." Readers may find a little difficulty with the language, for it is written in Elizabethan English, though that won't bother you if you are familiar with the plays of Shakespeare.
Three young teenage girls, and their aunt Joyce are chatting together one evening, when one of the girls suggests they might all try to keep a journal. The idea is scoffed at, because, it was said, nothing ever happens in their neck of the woods. A few exaggerated examples of the daily events that might be recorded were given, but nonetheless, they applied to their father for the paper, pens and ink, that they would need, and set to work, taking it in turns to write up the journal.
It is slightly annoying that every proper name is written in italics, which your reviewer found rather unusual, but you can get used to anything, and once you have done that it doesn't seem too bad.
The author was said to be a good historian, and so you will find the book informative and interesting, as the great issues of the day are discussed, many of them being of a religious nature.
Emily Sarah Holt, 1836 to 1893.
There doesn't seem to be much information easily available about Emily Sarah Holt. She is not mentioned in "The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature". She wrote about fifty books, mainly for children, and published over a rather short period of her life. Most of her books could be classified as Historical Novels.
I have an impression from snatches I have read that she lived in a rather upper middle class part of London, which we would call today "South Kensington". It may be significant that she died in 1893 for there was a major flu epidemic that year, which lasted a couple of years after that.
Somebody wrote recently that second-hand copies of her books in good condition are in short supply because her readers, a hundred years ago and more, so much loved reading their copies that they "read them to bits". This may be a bookseller's hype, but there must be a grain of truth in it. It may well also be true of all the authors we present on, or in conjunction with, the Athelstane website.
A PDF of scans and an HTML version of this book are provided. We also provide a plain TEXT version and full instructions for using this to make your own audiobook. To find these click on the PDF, HTML or TXT links on the left.
These transcriptions of books by various nineteenth century authors of instructive books for teenagers, were made during the period 1997 to the present day by Athelstane e-Books. Most of the books are concerned with the sea, but in any case all will give a good idea of life in the nineteenth century, and sometimes earlier than that. This of course includes attitudes prevalent at the time, but frowned upon nowadays.
We used a Plustek OpticBook 3600 scanner to scan the pages. We then made a pdf which we used to assist with editing the OCRed text.
To make a text version we used ABBYY Finereader 8 to produce a first draft of the text, and Athelstane software to find misreads and improve the text. We proof-read the chapters, and then made a CD with the book read aloud by either Fonix ISpeak or TextAloud MP3. The last step enables us to hear and correct most of the errors that may have been missed by the other steps, as well as entertaining us during the work of transcription.
The resulting text can be read either here at the Internet Archive or at www.athelstane.co.uk
The text version we present here has been optimised to be read with yBook.
The PDF version is constructed from 300 dpi scans. To get best value set "Use Logical Page Numbers" to "ON" in Edit/Preferences/Page Display of your PDF viewer. To obtain the ZIP file find the area on the left of this page which has PDF and TXT in it, and click on FTP. The larger of the two TXT files is what you need to read the book using yBook. To create an audiobook, using for instance Text Aloud MP3, download the ZIP file and unpack it. The smaller of the two TXT files contains full instructions for creating audiobooks.
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